GP Insights

GP Insights # 398, 16 August 2020

Kamala Harris: The Running Mate to Joe Biden in US Presidential Elections
Shreya Upadhyay

What happened? 
US Senator Kamala Harris has been chosen by Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden to be his running mate in the 2020 elections. Senator Kamala's nomination makes her the first African American and Indian American to become a vice-presidential candidate. 
What is the background 
First, Harris born to immigrant parents, and has made a career, reflects what the US stands for. She was born to an Indian mother and Jamaican father. She made a name for herself as a top lawyer and law enforcement official. 

Second, in 2019, she launched her candidacy for President that was met with initial enthusiasm. However, she could not garner much support and earned flak from the progressives side. 'Kamala is a cop' adage was used during her presidential campaign, spoiling her chances to win over progressive liberals. She ended her candidacy in December and later endorsed Biden for the post. 

What does it mean?
First, Senator Kamala's nomination brings to fore what the Democratic party stands for- young(er) and ethnically diverse. Kamala is 55-year-old, much younger than the 77-year-old white Joe. Her selection helps in balancing the overall age of the future democratic White House.

Second, her nomination has been celebrated by the party's African American, Indian American, women, immigrant, and liberal voter base. With the ongoing 'Black lives Matter' movement, the symbolism of Kamala as a candidate who has been an outspoken leader on racism and a woman of colour, will go a long way in attracting the voter base.  

Third, she needs to further up her game on specifics regarding tough questions on prison reforms, and health care reforms. Since the death of George Floyd, Harris has been outspoken in alleging police brutality and institutional racism in law enforcement and has advocated law-enforcement reform. 

Finally, the democratic party would need to devise a fresh plan on dealing with the current Covid-19 crisis which has left the incumbent weak but more aggressive. They would need to come up with robust ideas on the economy, immigration, globalization, and public health to device a winning deal. 

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